Wednesday February 20, 2013No. 13 Florida Baseball Begins Long Homestand Against Georgia Southern On Wednesday
After notching a 5-3 victory at UCF on Tuesday night that stretched its winning streak to three games, No. 13 Florida (3-1) welcomes Georgia Southern (2-1) to McKethan Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Eagles opened their campaign by taking two of three games from Georgia in Statesboro (5-6, 3-2, 11-2). Starting with the matchup against GSU, the Gators will play their next eight games within the friendly confines of home.
Tonight’s game will be carried on Sun Sports with Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert and will be available on GatorVision. Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell will call the action for the Gator IMG Sports Network, live audio and stats will be available on GatorZone.com and fans can also follow updates of each game on @GatorZoneBB, the official Twitter account of the Gator baseball team.
Quick Hits About the Gators
· Since its 4-3 Opening Night setback to Duke, Florida has captured its last three outings.
· Junior RHP Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (0-0, 6.75) will make his second start of the season, as he went 2.2 innings in the finale with the Blue Devils and did not receive a decision after giving up 3 hits and 2 runs, with 2 walks. Freshman LHP Evan Challenger (0-0, 0.00) will get the nod for Georgia Southern.
· The Gators enjoyed a successful debut on the road at UCF, jumping out to a 5-0 lead en route to a 5-3 triumph over the Knights.
· The reigning Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and the SEC Co-Player of the Week, redshirt sophomore 3B Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.), continued his hot start to the season by going 3-for-4 with his third homer in the past two games in Orlando.
· The top two hitters in the Gator lineup, freshman LF Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (2-for-5) and freshman SS Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (3-for-5) were a combined 5-for-10 at UCF. Martin is 5-for-9 (.556) with three runs and zero errors in the past two games.
· Freshman LHP Parker Danciu (Delray Beach, Fla.) has picked up two of Florida’s three wins out of the bullpen. He scattered five hits and allowed two runs over 3.1 innings at UCF after taking over for junior RHP Keenan Kish, who made his collegiate starting debut and threw two scoreless frames.
· Sophomore RHP Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) has collected two saves in as many opportunities and has retired all 9 batters he has faced this season.
· Sophomore 2B Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) is the lone Gator with at least one hit in every game this season; he is 4-for-15 (.267) with 4 runs, 3 RBI and 3 walks.
· Florida’s offense has totaled 13 hits in each of the past two games, hitting .361 (26-for-72) while totaling 21 runs, 19 RBI, 10 walks, four homers and two doubles.
· After leading the nation with 75 dingers last spring, the Orange and Blue has 5 big flies in its first 4 games and has homered in the last 3 games.
· The Gators have doubled up opponents, holding a 28-14 advantage on the scoreboard. UF’s biggest disparity is an 8-2 edge in the 6th inning and also holds a 6-2 advantage in the opening frame. The opposition’s best inning is the 4th, when it has a 5-1 margin.
· Florida is seeking its first error-free game, as it has committed 9 errors through 4 games for a .946 fielding percentage.
· Junior LHP Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) and sophomore RHP Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) each have three relief appearances to lead a bullpen that is 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA in 23.2 innings, with 16 strikeouts and 7 walks.
· The upcoming series with FGCU from Friday-Sunday triggers a stretch of 9 consecutive games versus an in-state foe, as the Gators will host North Florida next Tuesday and then Miami for three games before a home-and-home set with Jacksonville on March 5 & 6.
The Gators have claimed 10 of the 13 meetings against the Eagles and have emerged victorious in 8 of the last 9 encounters. Kevin O’Sullivan is 1-1 (.500) against Georgia Southern, with both contests in Gainesville the last two seasons.
Last Meeting With the Eagles
Brian Johnson matched his career high of five RBI as No. 1 Florida kicked off a nine-game stretch at McKethan Stadium with an 8-2 victory over Georgia Southern on April 17, 2012. Johnson belted a three-run homer in the first inning and added a two-run double in the seventh, while right-hander Greg Larson earned the win and also moved to third place on the Gators’ all-time list with his 105th appearance. All eight of UF’s runs were scored with two outs.
Johnson (2-for-4) cranked a three-run homer off the scoreboard overlooking right field to give the Gators a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Preston Tucker singled into right field with two down and Mike Zunino (2-for-3) drew a walk before Johnson cranked a 2-1 offering out of the yard for his fifth dinger of the season and his third in the past five games. After scoring a pair of runs courtesy of a passed ball in the fifth and a wild pitch in the sixth, Florida used a two-run double by Johnson in the seventh to build a seven-run lead. Six Gator pitchers combined to issue zero walks.
Tonight’s game kicks off an eight-game stretch of action at McKethan Stadium. This will mark the second-longest homestand of the season for the Gators, as they will have nine-consecutive outings in Gainesville from March 6-19. UF is 157-35 (.818) at home under O’Sullivan, 2-1 (.667) this season.
Four different players turned in multiple-hit efforts to lead Florida to a 5-3 victory over UCF in front of a record crowd of 3,678 fans on Tuesday night at Jay Bergman Field. Powerscontinued his torrid start by going 3-for-4 with his third home run in the past two games and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-5) belted his first round-tripper of the season and scored twice.
The Gators’ top two hitters in the lineup were a combined 5-for-10 (.500), as Martin (3-for-5) had a career-high three hits and Bader had a career-best two hits and was 2-for-5. Danciu (2-0) worked 3.1 innings, scattering five hits and yielding two runs, to earn the win, while Magliozzi retired all five Knights he faced to record his second save.